"He was on the cover in 1997. This is a return engagement for him," People assistant managing editor Robin Micheli told The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler. "He's gorgeous, first of all, elegant but down-to-earth, very funny, self deprecating — he's pretty perfect."
Clooney, 45, had a big year. Not only did he travel to Darfur to make a documentary of the bloody conflict there, but he was nominated for two Oscars and won Best Supporting Actor for "Syriana."
"He's kind of become the king of Hollywood this year," Micheli said.
Clooney joins his friend Brad Pitt as the only two-time honorees. Before his second time being named sexiest, Clooney used to call Pitt Mr. Two-time.
But Micheli said this year's competition was stiff and People chose 12 finalists, one for each month. Singer Justin Timberlake was named the sexiest man in September because that was the month he released his new album.
"It was four years since he had been out with a solo album," Micheli said.
Jamie Foxx was named sexiest man in April because, Micheli said, he was starting to get Oscar buzz for "Dream Girls" that month.
The magazine also created sexy categories. For example, Diddy was named the Sexiest Renaissance Rapper.
"He's not just a rapper," Micheli said. "He's a fashion designer, entrepreneur and about to be the father of twins."
Twin football stars Tiki and Ronde Barber and the twin tennis double team of Bob and Mike Bryan fell into the "doubly delicious" category.
Political satirist, Stephen Colbert was named a sexy surprise for proving that men with brains and humor also have appeal.
The magazine also made a category for sexy men in sexy surroundings. Josh Holloway, who plays Sawyer on "Lost," and Yul Kwon from "Survivor" were among the honorees.